✵The article gives records of the herb Cleavers, its English name, Latin name, common names, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Galium aparine L., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Cleavers, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.
English Name: Cleavers.
Latin Name: Galium aparine L.
Common Names: bedstraw, catchweed, cleavers herb, clivers herb, goosegrass, Tender Catchweed Bedstraw Herb, Barweed, Hedgeheriff, Hayriffe, Eriffe, Grip grass, Hayruff, scratweed, mutton chops, Robin-run in the grass, goose-bill, coachweed, cleaverwort, Gosling weed, hedge burs, sweethearts.
Property and flavor: slight cold in nature, tastes pungent, slightly bitter.
Brief introduction: Cleavers is a climbing herb, it grows widely in Asia, America, Europe, and Africa. Traditionally, the herb cleavers was used for centuries as a diuretic and other health problems. As a weed, it mainly harms wheat fields and cole fields.
Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Cleavers as the leaves of the species (1). Galium aparine L. It is a plant species of the Galium Linn genus, the Rubiaceae family (madder family). The leaves and other above-ground parts are used medicinally. This commonly used species is introduced:
(1).Galium aparine L.
Botanical description: Galium aparine is an annual or perennial climbing herb, it grows 20~40 cm long. The stem is green, multi-branched, four-edged, decumbent, or climbing, and there are barbs along the edges. The foliage leaves are arranged in false whorls of 6 or 8, leaves are sessile, the leaves are linear-lanceolate to elliptic-lanceolate, 2~4 cm long and 2~6 mm wide, with a convex tip at the apex, 1 vein, green on the top, covered with white prickled hairs, light green on the bottom, and hairs along the midrib and edge, the margins and midrib of the leaves are thorny.
Cymes is axillary or terminal, with several small, white or yellow-green flowers; Calyx is truncated, about 7 mm long, uncinate; Corolla is 4-lobed, lobes are oblong, the corolla is about 1.5 to 1.7 mm long, and has a pointed tip; 4 stamens, protruding; Ovary is inferior, 2-locule, style is 2-lobed. The fruit is dry, usually consisting of two nearly spherical fruit sacs, sometimes one, which is densely covered with prickles; There is a plano-convex seed in each fruit sac. Its flowering period is from April to May and fruiting from June to August.
Ecological environment: Galium aparine grows on hillsides, wilderness, ditches, river beaches, fields, forest margins, and grasslands at an altitude of 20~4,600 meters.
Growth characteristics: Galium aparine spread in northern Asia, China, southern Asia, Northern America, Europe, and Africa.
As a weed, it mainly harms wheat fields and cole fields, and mainly harms wheat and cole on hillsides in humid areas of the southern area, and it is more harmful to wheat crops than cole. As a climbing plant, it not only competes with crops for sunlight and space but also causes crops to fall, resulting in greater yield reduction and affecting crop harvesting.
Characters of herbs: Cleavers is the flowering herb of the above-ground part of Galium aparine, it is collected during the flowering season and dried, the whole herb is slender and broken, and its surface is grayish-green or greenish-brown. The stem has four edges, the diameter is 1~1.5 mm, and there are many inverted spines on the edges; Crisp, easily broken, and hollow in the cross-section. Leaves 6-8 in whorls, sessile, the leaves are curled and broken, and after being flattened, they are lanceolate or strip-lanceolate, about 2 cm long and 2~4 mm wide, with small spines on the edges and lower superficial midrib. Cymes are axillary or terminal, flowers are small and easy to fall off. The fruit is small, often hemispherical, with dense white hook hairs. The herb has a slight odor. The herb of better grade is green, with flowers and fruits.
Pharmacological actions: ①.increases urine output; ②.mild laxative action; ③.astringent; ④.larvacidal property; ⑤.lower the blood pressure; ⑥.anti-bacteria; etc.
Cleavers could increase urine output, its component iridoid glycosides are responsible for this diuretic effect, and the component has a mild laxative action. Its component tannins have an astringent effect and help with skin inflammations, burns, and abrasions, but the tannin's concentration is not very high. Cleavers has a strong larvacidal property and inhibit certain yeasts. The herb could lower the blood pressure, the herb has an inhibition effect on Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Shigella dysenteriae, etc.
Medicinal efficacy: Traditionally the herb cleavers was used for centuries as a diuretic, also for cystitis, venereal disease, kidney stones, other inflammation of the bladder, kidney, and reproductive tract, for treatment of swollen or enlarged lymph glands, fever, psoriasis, vitamin C deficiency, jaundice, bleeding wounds, etc. Tea made of its shoots was used in spring as a cleansing tonic for the blood and entire body. Externally the herb was used to aid the healing of scalds, burns, ulcers, psoriasis, and skin inflammation. The cooked plant is taken as a vegetable, and the seeds are roasted to make a coffee substitute.
In Europe, the herb is used internally as well as externally for ulcers, festering glands, lumps in the breast, and skin rashes, also for lithuresis and calculosis, as a diuretic for dropsy, bladder catarrh, and retention of urine. In homeopathy, it is used for kidney stones and ulcers.
In TCM works, the herb is recorded to clear heat and detoxification, prompt diuresis, treat stranguria, reduce the swelling and relieve pain, it is indicated for ulcer and pyogenic infections, mastitis, appendicitis, edema, cold and fever, dysentery, urinary tract infection, hematuria, gingival hemorrhage, knife injury bleeding, etc.
Administration of Cleavers (catchweed):
Administration Guide of Cleavers (catchweed)
Herbal classic books:
A tincture is taken in 5 to 10 ml doses three times a day. The infusion is made with one ounce of leaves and a pint of water and is taken three times a day. As a tea, add 4 teaspoonfuls of the herb to 2 glasses of hot water. Drink in sips during the day. Its homeopathic dosage is 5 drops, 1 tablet, or 10 globules every 30 to 60 minutes and 1 to 3 times daily for a chronic condition, parenterally, 1 to 2 mL sc 3 times daily for an acute condition, or once a day for a chronic condition. In TCM works, the herb is recommended as water decoction, 15~30 grams, or extract the juice and drink, externally proper amount, mashed and apply a coating.
Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: As there are no reports of significant adverse reactions with cleavers ever found in literature, it is probably safe for most people to use. Anyone with kidney problems should avoid ingesting the herb, however, it may increase urination by irritating the kidneys. In TCM works, the herb is cautioned that should not be used for those who suffer deficiency cold of the spleen and stomach.
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1.Introduction of Cleavers:catchweed or goosegrass.